This was a real eye-opening excursion for our engineering students, many of whom had lived in Helsinki for years unaware of the huge energy infrastructure under our feet! We visited Helen’s Salmisaari power plant in the Ruoholahti area of Helsinki. It is a combined heat and power (CHP) plant, where the share of renewable energy is increased by burning wood pellets together with coal. We learned about the challenge of meeting the heating, cooling and electricity production demands, and yet reducing significantly carbon dioxide emissions. Very interesting was the systems used to efficiently recover and reuse waste heat.
Many thanks to Gerda Kaleva, Helen Oy, for giving us a lecture and tour of the plant.